National Screen Institute announces Directors Guild of Canada as Indigenous Training Programs Partner, part of three-year agreement

Link to the Directors Guild of Canada

The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) is proud to welcome the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) as Indigenous Training Programs Partner, part of a new three-year partnership.

The partnership supports the delivery of training programs NSI New Northern Voices, NSI IndigiDocs and CBC New Indigenous Voices, presented by NSI, and includes boot camp sessions delivered by DGC members such as award-winning director Shane Belcourt.

Additionally, the new $500 Directors Guild of Canada Award for best director in the NSI Online Short Film Festival was recently introduced.

“This is the second three-year partnership between the Directors Guild of Canada and the National Screen Institute, building on our strong relationship and commitment to training Indigenous screen-based storytellers,” said Chris Vajcner, NSI’s director of partner support. “DGC’s commitment to investing in the next generation of storytellers is evident. We’re pleased to continue offering our renowned training with their support, and seeing NSI graduates become DGC members.”

“The Directors Guild of Canada is proud to help NSI bring accessible training opportunities to Indigenous content creators throughout Canada as NSI’s Indigenous Training Programs Partner,” said DGC president Tim Southam. “DGC and NSI are both deeply engaged in fostering this country’s emerging talent and we know NSI is helping Indigenous filmmakers develop skills, forge creative connections and advance their careers. We value the opportunity for our members to give back as advisors and mentors.”

About the NSI programs supported by Directors Guild of Canada

NSI New Northern Voices, in association with University College of the North (UCN), provides an introduction to media-based storytelling for northern Manitoba residents. The pilot year of the program took place in The Pas, Manitoba in fall 2019. Filmmaking 101, presented by Directors Guild of Canada and delivered by Shane Belcourt, was part of training boot camp.

NSI IndigiDocs offers customized training for Indigenous filmmakers to develop a short documentary. Twenty-four short films, many of them award winning, have been made through the program. Applications are being accepted for NSI IndigiDocs until November 14, 2019.

CBC New Indigenous Voices offers culturally-sensitive training for Indigenous adults interested in a career in film, television and digital media. Over 125 alumni have graduated from the program since its launch in 2005. Alumnus Michael Black (2017) has become a DGC member and served as assistant location manager on feature Flag Day, directed by Sean Penn and filmed in Winnipeg. Applications for CBC New Indigenous Voices open in February 2020.

The NSI Online Short Film Festival is a year-round festival offering quarterly cash prizes. Since launching in 2008, the festival has awarded over $125K to Canadian media artists. Film submissions are being accepted until December 2, 2019.

About the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC)

The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) is a national labour organization that represents over 4,800 key creative and logistical personnel in the screen-based industry covering all areas of direction, design, production and editing. The DGC negotiates and administers collective agreements and lobbies extensively on issues of concern for members including Canadian content conditions, CRTC regulations and ensuring that funding is maintained for Canadian film and television programming.

About National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)

The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) is a charitable, not-for-profit organization. Renowned for having given many content creators their first breaks, NSI provides customized training, mentorship and production support through courses like NSI Totally TelevisionCBC New Indigenous Voices presented by NSINSI Features First, NSI IndigiDocs, NSI New Northern Voices and TELUS STORYHIVE. NSI also showcases Canadian content through the NSI Online Short Film Festival.

Our programs are made possible with your support and with ongoing funding from Core Funders: Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage, the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council; Benefactors: TELUS, Telefilm Canada; Patrons: Bell Media, CBC, University College of the North (UCN); Builder: APTN; Indigenous Training Programs Partner: Directors Guild of Canada; Strategic Sponsors: Super Channel, Corus Entertainment, CBC Gem, Blue Ant Media, Manitoba Film & Music, RBC Emerging Artists Project, documentary Channel, Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD); Friends: Stantec, William F. White International, Deluxe.

All media enquiries

Laura Friesen, Manager, Communications & Alumni Relations
Tel: 204.957.2999 or email:

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